METHODS: The antinociceptive potential of orally administered PECN (100, 250, 500 mg/kg) was studied using the abdominal constriction-, hot plate- and formalin-induced paw licking-test in mice (n = 6). The effect of PECN on locomotor activity was also evaluated using the rota rod assay. The role of opioid receptors was determined by pre-challenging 500 mg/kg PECN (p.o.) with antagonist of opioid receptor subtypes, namely β-funaltrexamine (β-FNA; 10 mg/kg; a μ-opioid antagonist), naltrindole (NALT; 1 mg/kg; a δ-opioid antagonist) or nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI; 1 mg/kg; a κ-opioid antagonist) followed by subjection to the abdominal constriction test. In addition, the role of L-arg/NO/cGMP pathway was determined by prechallenging 500 mg/kg PECN (p.o.) with L-arg (20 mg/kg; a NO precursor), 1H-[1, 2, 4] oxadiazolo [4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ; 2 mg/kg; a specific soluble guanylyl cyclase inhibitor), or the combinations thereof (L-arg + ODQ) for 5 mins before subjection to the abdominal constriction test. PECN was also subjected to phytoconstituents analyses.
RESULTS: PECN significantly (p 0.05) affect the locomotor activity of treated mice. The antinociceptive activity of PECN was significantly (p 0.05) affected by ODQ. HPLC analysis revealed the presence of at least cinnamic acid in PECN.
CONCLUSION: PECN exerted antinocicpetive activity at peripheral and central levels possibly via the activation of non-selective opioid receptors and modulation of the NO-mediated/cGMP-independent pathway partly via the synergistic action of phenolic compounds.